The signs of a tough economy surround us. Many Fortune 500 companies have laid-off workers and those who are still employed fret over their job’s near-term outlook. The housing and financial markets have been shaken to their core and the new president is promising change that cannot seem to come quick enough.

So what are businesses to do in such hard times? The same things they do when times are good, continuously improve their organization on a variety of dimensions. Specifically, the application of Business Intelligence (BI) in tough times is a very strategic ‘play’. By leveraging BI to cut excessive costs, identify your most profitable customer’s attributes, or to improve operations you can strengthen your company’s overall health. If your organization already has licenses for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS), SQL Server, and Excel you can even obtain such valuable information without any significant software costs. Additionally, if you already have hardware provisioned or can reallocate hardware for the BI Solution your only cost would be for the services rendered!

The Microsoft BI stack has always been one of the lowest overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) BI platforms available and with the recent announcement of PerformancePoint Services being included with MOSS Enterprise licenses the platform’s TCO is going down again. Take the time to revaluate if your organization can leverage their existing software & hardware assets to further strengthen its overall health in such turbulent times with Microsoft Business Intelligence.